WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 1, 2020
TOPIC: LOOK UNTO THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF YOUR FAITH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, New King James Version).
Praise the LORD! Happy new month! I’m glad to welcome you to the new month of July. I pray that it will be a great month for you. You’ll experience the abundant mercies of God. The LORD shall satisfy you with favour. No evil shall befall you and no plague shall come near your dwelling.
I pray for you the words of Isaiah 60:18 that violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
As you go this month, remember what the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (New King James Version). Whatever happens this month, don’t take your eyes off Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.
In the New King James Version, the word author is used only three times – 1 Corinthians 14:33; Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 12:2. 1 Corinthians 14:33, says, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (New King James Version).
Actually, there is no word in the Greek text translated author. There is no word there. The word (author) was added by the translator for better reading and understanding in English. Whenever you read a word in italics in the King James Version and New King James Version, note that the use of italics is to indicate that the word is not in the original text, but was added by the translator for the purpose I’ve stated.
In Hebrews 5:9, the Bible says, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (New King James Version). The Greek word translated author is aitios, and it means a causer.
In English, one of the meanings of author (verb) is to cause something. The noun form means the source or creator of something. This is what the Bible is saying here. Author also means a writer or a professional writer, but that is not applicable here.
Jesus is the causer of our eternal salvation. Salvation would not have been possible without Him. He laid down His life to save us. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14 New King James Version).
However, the use of the word author, in Hebrews 12:2, is different from the meaning in 1 Corinthians 14:33 or Hebrews 5:9. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 New King James Version).
The Greek word translated author in the New King James Version is archegos. It means a chief leader or one that takes the lead in anything. In the context it is used in Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is the chief leader of our faith. He is the one you should look to as you go this month; don’t be moved by situations and circumstances. He saved your soul because you put your trust in Him; you should also put your faith in Him for everything. Depend on Him; without Him you can do nothing.
The New Living Translation renders Hebrews 12:2 thus: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.” Allow no distraction. Look unto your chief leader; follow Him. He is the chief leader of your faith. Your faith depends on Him from start to finish.
In Hebrews 12:2, another word used to describe Jesus is the finisher. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Look to Him as the finisher this month and always. Significantly, the word finisher appears only one time in the New King James Version – in Hebrews 12:2 alone.
The Greek word translated finisher is teleiotes, a word from teleiooo. Teleiotes means a completer i.e. consummater (Strong’s Concordance). Teleiooo means to carry through completely; to accomplish, finish, bring to an end (Acts 20:24); to complete (perfect), i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full; to bring to the end (goal) proposed (Hebrews 7:19); to accomplish, i. e., bring to a close or fulfillment by event (John 19:28) (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
Jesus is the chief Leader and consummater, completer, perfecter of our faith. He is the originator and accomplisher of our faith. Jesus patiently and voluntarily endured the cross and despised the shame.
Before the Finisher breathed His last, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30 New King James Version). It is finished is teleo in Greek, meaning to bring to an end, complete, fulfill (Strong’s Concordance) Look to the Finisher. Look to the Leader and the Source of our faith (The Amplified Bible). He is seated now at the right hand of the Father. Hallelujah!
Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (New King James Version).
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the guide and end of our faith (The Bible in Basic English). Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (World English Bible). Look steadfastly on Jesus the leader and completer of faith (Darby’s Translation). Let your eyes be fixed upon Jesus, the Leader and perfect Example of our faith (Twentieth Century New Testament). Look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and makes it perfect (New Century Version). Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (New International Version).
Look to Jesus. Psalm 34:5 says, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” (New King James Version). Look to Jesus. Prophet Micah says, “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7 King James Version).
Just as you looked to Jesus for the salvation of your soul; look to Him for your healing, protection, deliverance, provision and for everything.
As you go in the month, put your trust in Jesus. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
The psalmist says, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2 King James Version).
Don’t replace God with any man in your life. Look to Jesus. Don’t look up to any ‘hill’ or ‘mountain’; your help won’t come from there (Psalm 121:1). Look unto Jesus. That’s where your help is. He is always ready to help in times of trouble – a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
The author and finisher of your faith will see you through this month. His presence shall go with you. The Finisher will empower you to finish well. David said in Psalm 138:8, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands” (New King James Version). The LORD will perfect the new month for you and everything that concerns you.
The New Living Translation puts Psalm 138:8 this way: “The LORD will work out his plans for my life — for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” The author and finisher of your faith will work out His plans for your life; you shall not be stranded.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Lord Jesus, I will look to You alone. I will follow your leading and guidance. I have started the new month in the name of Jesus Christ and I will finish it in His name. By the power of the author and finisher of my faith, I go in faith into the month and I will overcome. Father, this month, add what is lacking in my life and make it full. Let Your purpose for my life this month be fulfilled.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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